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A Note About Curriculum…

Private School Fredericksburg VA

We’ve had a few questions lately about what our specific curriculum looks like and how kids will adjust if they go back to public school. This is from our parent/student handbook:

Another way that BCS differs from other learning habitats is that while offering an extensive and diverse outdoor experience + free play, BCS students will also follow a rich classical curriculum. Here at BCS we feel that the blending of the natural environment + a rigorous education + lots of free play = the best student outcomes. Students will leave BCS ready to be leaders in any situation. They will be creative, free thinkers, with solid analyzation skills, able to synthesize and retain information at the highest level. We are committed to teaching students how to learn above all else.

Students will study: phonics, spelling, math + numeracy, literature, literacy, science, Latin, critical thinking, geography, social studies, wellness, physical well-being, mindfulness, sustainability and history. Specific curriculum includes: Singapore Math; Five In A Row (literature, unit studies); All About Spelling (phonics); All About Reading; science, social studies, & history will be rolled into our unit studies; Handwriting Without Tears; geography through map drawing; yoga, etc. Geography skills begin with map drawing in Kindergarten with the goal that upon graduation in 6th grade, a BCS student will be able to draw the world map (including states, capitals, mountain ranges, rivers, and oceans) from memory.

We’ll also have art, music, gardening, and farm time. We will not have electronics in the classrooms before 6th grade but parents have the option to have Keyboarding Without Tears for home use as part of their tuition.

Exams are not given before 6th grade. BCS holds itself and its students to the highest standards for elementary education. It is in that spirit that we can confidently say that we will not teach to a test. BCS educators will teach until mastery is achieved. The goal of the school is to teach every student to the point of true comprehension. This will minimize summer gaps and allow for the retention of subjects taught. BCS students will have a deep understanding of subjects as they move through the school year. Kindergarten – 2nd grade students will focus on introduction and memorization of materials so that they become familiar and comfortable with subjects over time. For instance, Latin will be introduced in Kindergarten but true comprehension will be gained at the upper elementary level.

Competency based assessments will happen three times; beginning, middle, and end of the year. We’re looking for proof of progress and depth of knowledge. For the youngest students it’s a lot of memorization without actual deep understanding. We’re looking for concepts to be introduced & reinforced while meeting benchmarks for math and reading.

Our approach is from the standpoint that every child is gifted. We don’t mimic public school but we are aware of public school standards (ours are much higher). We believe that each child will rise up to the standard set, so we set the bar high. Again, because we teach for comprehension + we have the flexibility, we stick with a concept until the student understands (mastery). We also believe that school can be a place of magic if we let it. We want to inspire curiosity, imagination, leadership, innovation and good citizenship in our classes.

Why this radical combination? Children were not made to sit still 6+ hours a day, or stand quietly in perfectly straight lines. They are made to move, wiggle, giggle, jump, run, roll, think, be curious, and ask questions, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t also have a great capacity for rigorous learning. BCS is designed to honor the whole child, the part that needs to run wild and the part that craves knowledge + understanding. When students move on to the public school arena they will find that they are beyond prepared to meet the demands. They will also have a very strong foundation for college level learning.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about our approach, philosophy, curriculum, or anything else. We are here for you.



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